The Thomas the Tank Engine train at Drusillas will take its final voyage in January.
Last week the Herald announced the zoo park’s contract with Gullane (Thomas) LLC, which gives Drusillas the right to use the Thomas name on its Thomas and Friends attraction, expires in March 2017. This contract will not be renewed.
As a result, Thomas will run for the final time on January 8.
Laurence and Christine Smith, owners of the park, said, “Whilst initially we were disappointed, we made up our minds very quickly that we had to look forwards and not backwards and we decided to create a new area at Drusillas with a safari theme, which we are calling Go Safari.
“The plans are well under way and we are committed to the project and have signed contracts with the ride manufacturers.
“We expect it to open in April/May 2017 and it will consist of three rides - the train which will be called the Safari Express as well as two new rides, to be known as the Hippopotobus and Flying Cheetahs.
“This is a million pound investment for us, our biggest undertaking ever, and we think that once it’s in place it will be a great success and very popular.
“We tried hard to keep Thomas at Drusillas and we know only too well that there will be some disappointment from children who love Thomas – our own grandchildren included – but in Drusillas’ 90 year history the company has had to change and adapt, for a variety of reasons, and this is another case and another opportunity.
“We hope our visitors and members will continue to support us.”